EF Staff

February 1, 2016

Do you dream of traveling the world, carrying a burlap rucksack with only a change of clothes and your laptop? Enjoying unobstructed views of Hong Kong from your 101st floor luxury penthouse while sipping your morning cup of joe? Scuba diving in the Maldives? Spending the month of October in Belgium celebrating Oktoberfest? Experiencing the thrill of driving a Lamborghini Huracan around Northern Italy? Are you breaking out in hives at the thought of living in one spot for the next year?

If you answered “Yes!” to any of the above, you might find that the nomadic lifestyle is for you.

Traveling the world and not having the trappings of a 9-to-5 job is pretty amazing, and one of the best decisions Joe and I ever made.

Sadly, it remains a dream for the vast majority of people. They have a hard time breaking away from their perceived security, which is unfortunate because as legendary entrepreneur and motivational speaker Jack Canfield said, “All the good stuff is outside of our comfort zone.”

Plus, if Joe and I figured this stuff out, I’m sure you can, too!

If you are attracted to the entrepreneurial lifestyle, but lack the finances and/or desire to build a business from the ground up, you might be interested in buying websites to build your empire. That’s one of the exact reasons we love sharing our knowledge on this site: to help you live the life you want!

If you have basic SEO (Search Engine Optimization) knowledge and have a knack for predicting trends, you might find success with building up a portfolio of websites.

Now, if you don’t have the time, energy, or desire to come up with a product or concept to monetize a site, we really wouldn’t recommend you build a site from the ground up. As I’ve said before, this is not the Field of Dreams; “If you build it, they will come” just doesn’t happen in this business.

I would recommend that those new to our industry purchase an already established site that has most of the leg-work already done. Empire Flippers Marketplace only offers sites that go through an extensive vetting process and are already bringing in cash. You won’t find any sites with artificially inflated views (also known as pump-and-dump fraud).

You will also find plenty of resources available for you to do your own research. You wouldn’t purchase a brick-and-mortar business without finding out if there are any liens against the property or what the fair market value is, would you? Trust and transparency are of utmost importance when you are researching sites to add to your portfolio.

Starting Point

When you’re planning a trip, you have to know where you are before you can decide where you’re going. You can’t start mapping the route to your destination without that all-important starting off point. The same goes for purchasing a website. As a buyer, you will likely fall into one of six categories we’ve talked about before:

  • Newbie Norm – You probably don’t know which end is up right now and that’s okay! That’s why we’re here, to help you navigate through this new and often confusing territory, while giving you some peace of mind.
  • DIY David – You are driven and compelled to do things all on your own. If you don’t know how to do something, you educate yourself and figure it out. Hey, we completely understand your DIY mentality, and we aren’t here to simply give you the fish; we want to teach you how to do your own fishing.
  • Portfolio Paul – Buying and selling sites is not new to you. You’ve already built up an impressive portfolio, but you might be looking for new ways to monetize and increase traffic. You are the opposite of DIY David and prefer sites that essentially run themselves.
  • Lifestyle Larry – Crossing the Atlantic in your 55-foot sailboat has been your lifelong dream. You are looking to broaden your investment horizon by venturing into purchasing online assets. You are looking for long-term investments that offer low risk and high returns. We are here to help you navigate through these uncharted waters.
  • Strategic Sally – You have a successful business selling goods or services online and are looking to expand your product lineup or increase traffic to your site. You aren’t as interested in starting a brand from scratch as you are in leveraging what you’ve already got.
  • Flipper Fred – You are experienced and have concrete criteria that you are looking for in a site. You are a goal-setter and enjoy the challenge of turning high-traffic, low-profit sites into high-return investments. You can trust us to provide you with only high-quality sites and a wealth of resources to give you the confidence in making an informed decision.

Travel Expenses

Monthly Living Expenses (China)

Efficiency Mid Range Luxury
Transportation (Car rental, taxi, etc) $150-175 (Bus/Train) $300-325 (taxi) $3,000 (private chauffeur)
Air Travel (One time cost) $723 (Coach) $1846 (business class) $6764 (first class)
Rental $300 (unfurnished) $800 (furnished) $2400 (furnished)
Utilities $375 $350-400 $375-400
Entertainment $25 $150.00 $1500-2000
Food $100 $350.00 $800-1000
Maid $1500 (non-English speaker) $2100 (speaks English)
Total $1,698 $5,371.00 $17,664

It’s one thing to dream and talk about traveling the world. It’s another thing to start taking the action steps needed to turn that dream into a reality.

Before you start breaking down costs and expenses, you have to know what kind of lifestyle you want. Are you just looking for a couch and a nearby McDonalds, or do you need a 24/7 concierge and an ensuite infinity pool? How long do you plan on staying? There is an astronomical difference in cost between paying month-to-month rent on an 80-square-foot micro apartment in Tokyo and signing a six-month lease for a luxury condo in Doha.

Once you determine what kind of lifestyle you’d like to live, it’s time to put together a monthly budget. Are you saving to purchase a chalet in Switzerland or take flying lessons? How much money do you need to bring in each month to live the life of your dreams?

By budgeting backwards, you aren’t limited to the dollar amount in your bank account. You need to think outside of the bank account. Instead of letting your income decide what kind of lifestyle you should lead, let the lifestyle you are dreaming of decide your income. Why be held back by a job and a paycheck that aren’t part of your dream?

It’s time to think of the big picture. Add up your desired lifestyle expenses, the amount you get— there’s your big picture. That’s your goal. Having that goal will give you long-term vision and also provide you with short-term motivation to take action and turn that dream into reality.

Diversification Minimizes Risk

Maintaining a steady cash flow to fund your nomadic lifestyle depends on creating a well-diversified portfolio. It’s vital to preserving the overall, long-term health of your portfolio.

Diversification is something the livelihoods of venture capitalists, property investors, and mutual fund advisors depend on. When the market fluctuates or an undesirable trend arises, they better be on the defensive and prepare to weather the storm, or the rug will be pulled right out from underneath them.

In general, you’re going to want to diversify your web portfolio in three ways:

1. Monetization

If you have all of your eggs in one basket when it comes to monetization, one change from one company could wipe you out. Having most of your earnings come from Amazon’s affiliate program, for example, would be devastating if they suddenly shut down affiliates in your state. (It’s happened!)

2. Traffic Sources

If a huge majority of your traffic is coming from one source, this leaves you quite vulnerable. Google updates have wiped out mostly organic traffic sites, competitors have made AdWords traffic strategies unprofitable, and affiliates that drive sales can come and go.

3. Seasonality

It’s hard to live on the beach when 80% of your sales (and earnings) come in October/November/December. You CAN do it, but you’d better stock up during those lean months! A better strategy might be to have a pool cleaning supply company for the summer months and a Christmas-friendly site through the holidays.

How to Generate a Steady Cash Flow

Once you’ve maintained a well-rounded portfolio of websites for at least six months to a year, ideally you should have a comfortable stream of revenue coming in and be meeting your goals. But where is the revenue coming from?

1. Affiliate Ads

What It Is: Using ads, a company offers an agreed upon amount of compensation for directing traffic to their business. It falls under the umbrella of performance-based marketing.

Pros: There are no start up costs, no inventory, and it is not product dependent. (If someone follows an Amazon affiliate link and purchases an elliptical instead of the initial product—i.e. a coffee mug—they clicked on, you will still receive commission from the elliptical.)

Cons: Google could potentially see your site as a “gateway site,” having zero content and only “Buy Me! Buy Me!” affiliate links. You don’t want to get put on Google’s shit list. Google can drop your site from search results or worse— shut down your account.

2. Amazon FBA

What It Is: Joe calls Amazon FBA the “Darling of 2015.” You send your products to Amazon, who will store and ship them, and they even handle all of the customer service and returns. They take out a percentage of your sales for warehouse space, shipping, etc., and cut you a check for the remainder.

Pros: You get to create your own brand. You don’t have to handle any customer service issues. In addition, you are being backed by Amazon, which people know, like, and trust.

Cons: Expect high start up costs since you must provide the inventory. Competition can get ugly.

3. Downloadable Content

What It Is: In our case, we have created several e-Books (see here: Building A Niche Site Empire), but you can also create everything from “15 Hangover Cures” to crossword puzzles.

Pros: With access to free online book publishing platforms, you could already be sitting on your future eBook. Do you have a collection of articles you’ve written on a specific topic? There you go. Put them all together and share them with the masses.

Cons: The market is already overcrowded.

4. Google Ads

What It Is: These are ads that appear next to Google’s search results. You will only be charged if someone clicks on the ad, since it’s a PPC (Pay-per-click) service.

Pros: You have the ability to turn the service off and on, and it’s inexpensive (just make sure to monitor and make adjustments as needed).

Cons: With PPC, you will get charged regardless of if that click turns into a sale. The learning curve is also steep. If your site is poor and irrelevant to your ad, Google will charge you more PPC than if you have a well-rounded site, with decent SEO and good content.

5. Paid Blog Posts

What It Is: In a nutshell, companies pay for the relationships and trust you have built up with your audience by getting favorable reviews for their product or service.

Pros: There’s low risk and no inventory. You have control over the post (“ad”).

Cons: Unless you already have a large following, it will be difficult to get conversions to sales. Expect to face the Business 101, “Know, Like, Trust” factor. If the product/service isn’t all that you say it is, it can cost you the “trust” factor and lose your audience. Some companies can be unethical, using veiled threats if you return with a negative review of their product.

6. Merchandise

What It Is: Customizable products; everything from candy bar wrappers to coffee mugs to T-shirts. There are many sites that cost nothing to set up, offering templates for you to design and sell your own creations.

Pros: You won’t handle any inventory. Everything is handled by your chosen online vendor.

Cons: The market is oversaturated. You have no control over the quality of products or any changes that are made in sourcing the products.

7. Webinars

What It Is: Got info to share with the world? Host a web-based seminar, also known as a webinar. Webinars can be an informative presentation, an open question and answer session, or a demonstration. Create an event using social media and use a platform like GoToWebinar.

Pros: Hosting a webinar is inexpensive and can potentially add more “know, like, trust” to your brand.

Cons: Technical difficulties are bound to happen. You will need to invest time in establishing yourself as the go-to expert.

Are You Ready To Pack A Rucksack and Start Traveling?

So, while you are weighing the pros and cons of trading fluorescent lights for sunlight, and cube life for a cabana— let us know in the comments below what appeals to you about living a nomadic lifestyle?


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Discussion
Leave a comment
  1. H. J. Brown says:

    Really good visual appeal on this site, I’d rate it 10.

  2. […] ways of monetizing your website and increasing traffic. We’ve previously referred to you as “Portfolio Paul”. If there’s a way to free up more of your time—without sacrificing your business ROI, and […]

  3. […] you’ll need each month to support your lifestyle, we previously covered “backwards budgeting” here. It’s a great tool to quickly see where you are and where you need to be. You’ll consider any […]

  4. […] Look for ways to pool money to purchase more sites to add to your portfolio. Does your portfolio have enough diversity? Diversity means security and security is a great thing to have if you are planning on leveraging your savings on websites to travel the world. […]

  5. Troy S. says:

    $1500 per month for a non English speaking maid? Sign me up. I am going to China to start my new career as a house keeper!

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